Are Lipomas Dangerous?

Are Lipomas Dangerous?

An estimated 1 in 1,000 people develop a lipoma. These fatty growths can occur at any age, but they’re most common in people ages 40-60. While most lipomas aren’t a cause for concern, sometimes they can lead to problems and require surgical removal.

At Surgical Associates of North Texas in McKinney, Texas, Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, uses the most advanced techniques available to perform specialized surgical procedures, including those involving soft tissue issues like lipomas

In this blog, Dr. deVilleneuve explains the unique nature of these abnormal growths and when they require treatment.

Lipoma basics

Learning you have a lipoma can be scary, because it’s a type of tumor. However, the word “tumor” describes any mass of abnormal tissue that forms when cells don’t function properly. So it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, especially if it’s a lipoma.

When you have a lipoma, a noncancerous, fatty lump forms in your body, typically between your skin and muscle or on an organ. These slow-growing, roundish masses often move around when pressed, don’t hurt, and feel soft or rubbery. In most cases, lipomas are less than 2 inches across, but some can grow larger than 6 inches in diameter.

The most common areas to develop lipomas include:

You can also have more than one lipoma at a time.

Lipomas are rarely dangerous or serious. However, you should always consult a physician whenever you notice a new bump, lump, or growth anywhere in your body. And, sometimes, lipomas can become problematic.

When lipomas cause concerns

Most lipomas don’t require treatment, and you can even have one without knowing. However, some can cause issues — such as pain, physical discomfort, or cosmetic concerns — especially when they grow very large or press on an organ or nerves. In these cases, Dr. deVilleneuve often recommends soft tissue surgery.

The most common method for removing these kinds of fatty masses involves a procedure known as excision. During this treatment, Dr. deVilleneuve makes an incision in your skin and surgically removes the tumor. 

In most cases, you can go home the same day as your excision, but you may have to limit certain activities for a short period while you heal, depending on the size and location of your mass. Dr. deVilleneuve can provide details regarding your recovery during your lipoma consultation.

Dr. deVilleneuve specializes in soft tissue surgery, which gives him the unique skills needed to carefully remove a lipoma growth while preserving surrounding tissue in the area. He also uses special suturing techniques to ensure your lipoma removal doesn’t lead to significant scarring.

If you have a lipoma that’s causing problems, Dr. deVilleneuve can discuss your treatment options. To learn more, call 972-947-2264 or book an appointment online with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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